How Many Calories Does CrossFit really Burn?
With about 10 million CrossFitters around the world 60% of whom are women many people can attest firsthand to the benefits of this high intensity style workout program. But yet little scientific research has looked at how many calories does Crossfit really burn. So the American Council on Exercise researched to survey two workouts of the day (WODs) to see just how these short yet challenging sessions really round up.
We live in a world where fitness has never been so cool or so fun. When it comes to getting our sweat on, there’s a glorious array of options. With so many different workouts, it can be tough to pinpoint which one is right for you. We did some research on 13 of the most popular fitness movements to find out how much calorie burn you get for your buck.
Sixteen men and women completed two different WODs Donkey Kong and Fran each introduced by a warm-up and followed by a cool-down. Donkey Kong composed of three rounds of burpees, kettlebell swings and box jumps, with stair-climbing between exercises. Repetitions decrease each round, starting with 21 reps the first round, 15 the second and 9 the third. Fran one of the most admired WODs in the CrossFit community comprises of just two exercises: thrusters and assisted pull-ups, and is carried out in the same sequence as Donkey Kong. The aim of both is to complete the workout in the shortest amount of time possible.
Researchers of the CrossFit study came across that the caloric expenditure for both WODs averaged 12.3 calories/minute for females. It is very important to note that the time it took each participate to complete the WODs varied greatly. These range from less than five minutes to as long as 20 which affected the averages for the total number of calories burned during each workout. The women completed Donkey Kong in an average time of 9:08. The women burning an average of 117.2 calories for the workout and worked off 63.9 calories in 5:52 minutes for Fran.
During the first round of both CrossFit workouts, the subjects’ heart rates were raised to 90 percent of maximum heart rate and that was maintained throughout both workouts. This falls near the top of the fitness industry guidelines. It suggest maintaining a training range of 64 to 94 percent HRmax. It helps in improving cardio endurance. Researchers also found that subjects averaged 80 percent of VO2max. This also meets and exceeds industry guidelines 40 to 85 percent of VO2max for improving cardio fitness.
The bottom line is like other high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. CrossFit is effective in helping individuals improve their aerobic fitness. It also helps in burning a good number of calories in short amount of time.
While this time-efficient and effective approach to exercise has its benefits. Intensity of CrossFit may not be appropriate for everyone, especially considering that form is key when it comes to safety. The thing we’ve seen with a lot of these workouts is you go flat-out as fast as you can. You really need to be technically correct with a lot of these exercises or else you’re going to get hurt.
If you do not do CrossFit yourself, you know at least five people who do. First rule of CrossFit is always talk about CrossFit. Some of the best CrossFitters in the world also have some of the best bodies in the world.